Sunday, January 28, 2007

Gamespot vs. Zelda Fans

WARNING: The following is a geeky rant about an over-dramatic event that occured on the internet, which no normal human being will care about.

When Zelda for the Wii came out, gamespot pushed out its review of the game, giving it a total score of 8.8*. 8.8 means "great" but just short of the 9.0 rating of "astounding**." After this review was released, a huge number of Zelda fans backlashed gamespot and the gamespot reviewer for giving the game such a "bad" score. Those fans state the game is near-perfect in every way, that it's astounding and simply incredible, and are now exploding because of this "bad" review.

This whole episode can be described as ridiculous, overreactive, and not worth talking about in any way because of how straight-forward it is.

Why Twilight Princess is overrated:
1 - Regarding Originality (addressed for the 5th time, I know)
Zelda Twilight Princess is about the 10-12th*** game in the Zelda series. That being said, you can relate this as about the 10th sequel in the series. With this in context you can compare Twilight Princess with the other games in the series.
Twilight Princess is the exact same Zelda game that came out 10 years ago, and 5 years ago before that. It only makes sense that they should update the series with more original content. Every Zelda game has you literally doing the same "save hyrule, go to dungeons, get items, kill ganon, and rescue Zelda."
But in defense of Zelda, they have changed various things and introduced new elements in each new installment. But aside from the various new gameplay features in every game, they continue to use the same formula, the same core gameplay, the same items, the same gameplay mechanics, the same story, the same characters, the same ending, and the same ol' kingdom of hyrule. This didn't bother me at first-I enjoyed Zelda games, but after the 5th time, it really gets on your nerves.
Zelda has not changed much over 15 years, and it really shows in Twilight Princess.
If you have played all the other games in the Zelda series, you will see that this is the exact same game, over and over and over. They throw out the Generic Zelda Storyline Script, have a few different fill-in-the-blank sections for the gameplay and a couple of characters, and then leave everything else alone.

2 - The Difficulty
Zelda Twilight Princess is too easy, and not very challenging. If they made the game a little harder it would've added more tension and fun to the areas. Instead, all the sword battles are a piece of cake, and every boss fight can be nailed on the first try.

Regarding the score:
3 - 8.8 is a good score
does not mean 4.4. 8.8 means GREAT, as in, "this game was almost in the category of best games ever, but some features just made it drop." And that statement is just so true.
If a Zelda game drops below 9.0 that does NOT MEAN it is a BAD game. It just means it was good, and it could've been better.
In my opinion Twilight Princess does not deserve anything higher than a 9.5 and the lowest it should go is probably 8.5.

Final Thoughts:
4 - Giving the fans what they wanted?
After Zelda: Wind Waker came out for the gamecube, many fans wanted Nintendo to go back to the more realistic, adult-looking Link, that was sported in Ocarina of Time. Nintendo did that with Twilight Princess and it also seems that they stripped the game of all extra necessities that would challenge the Zelda formula, thus making the game sticking as close to the basic Zelda formula as possible. This, in my opinion, just makes the game, boring, predictable, and not as much fun to play.

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess in no way is a perfect game and worthy of a 10/10, which many gaming sites have so excitedly given it****. The game has its flaws, and should be demoted for its lack of concept.
You could almost say that every Zelda game is a remake of the previous one, just adding new features, or changing certain elements. But it all stays the same at the core.

On a final positive note:
Zelda is still a great game, and its level of detail and design is excellent, but Twilight Princess is in no way a 10.00.

* Gamespot Review of Twilight Princess
** Gamespot Review Guidelines
*** The Legend of Zelda Series (wikipedia)
**** Game Rankings for Twilight Princess

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